Grantham conman posed as charity parachute hero

Lincoln Crown Court Martin Heaver convinced people that he was a member of the Parachute Regiment

A man who posed as a member of the Parachute Regiment to trick people into sponsoring him for a charity challenge has been jailed for six months.

Martin Heaver, 46, from London Road in Grantham, Lincolnshire raised £1,000 after announcing he was doing parachute jumps in aid of a terminally ill child.

He admitted the fraud at Lincoln Crown Court.

The court heard Heaver was in debt and had bought his military t-shirt and beret on eBay.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said Heaver included the Paras' logo on his sponsorship forms and claimed he was travelling to Aldershot Barracks to carry out seven jumps.

'Despicable' crime

Between April and May last year he told people he was helping a sick five-year-old - Ellie Simpson from Leicestershire - go to Florida and meet Mickey Mouse.

However, the court was told the whole story was false as the girl did not exist.

Mr Lowe said Heaver, a factory worker, had appeared live on a local radio station and posed as the father of Ellie.

He was caught out after appearing in the Grantham Journal newspaper when the photographer became suspicious of him and raised the alarm.

Judge Sean Morris Heaver: "What you did was despicable. People were taken in.

"It has to be an immediate sentence of imprisonment to mark the seriousness of this fraud and deter others from behaving in such an appalling way."

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